How advice on a revised design saved a waste management company 30% on improved replacement parts

Waste Management Star Wheels for Rotary Screens

The Situation

A waste management company were using star wheels in their waste management process. These wheels, made of rubber, are used extensively in the separation of refuse and were breaking on a regular basis: within 2 months, 50% of the wheels in the dump zone of the waste management process were broken. Wheels in the dump zone were being replaced every month and outside the dump zone they were being replaced every two months.

Hoverdale were called in to develop solutions to this problem that could save replacement costs.

The Client’s Objectives

Initially, the client had 3 objectives:

  • To save cost
  • To extend component life
  • To eliminate breakages

Hoverdale’s initial solution met all three of these objectives but, on reflection, the company changed its objectives to:

  • To save costs
  • To eliminate breakages

In order to ensure that the fitters of the star wheels were won over in the short-term & to ensure minimal maintenance time.

Their Measures for Success

The client’s measures for success were simple:

  • The cost of a star wheel
  • The replacement costs
  • The frequency of replacement

This made it easy for the client to judge their return.

Our Solution

Hoverdale initially recommended replacing rubber with a different material. This solution increased the life of the star wheels by three times & would have reduced running costs & overall maintenance.

At this point, the fitters of the star wheels raised a query that the new material might take longer to fit than the older material & the client decided to request that the material be kept the same for now.

At this point, Hoverdale’s solution cost 30% less than the existing provider.

Hoverdale also developed a reinforced version of the same material (reinforced with metal) for the star wheels in the dump zone that would eliminate breakages.

Since these were fitted, Hoverdale have developed a star wheel in the more durable material that is easier to fit than the existing star wheels. This, it is proposed, will increase the life of the existing wheels by three times & reduce maintenance & downtime.

The Value

After developing two rounds of solutions the results have been:

  • Saving the client 30% on replacement costs (a saving of £32,000 per annum)
  • Eliminating dump zone breakages

In addition, Hoverdale have developed a new design which, it is proposed, will increase the life of the star wheels from 2 months to 6 months.


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